Skyline with a view of the Gilbert Scott Building, University of Glasgow

ESSAM 2024

23 June - 6 July 2024


MBA Summer School

The European Summer School for Advanced Management (ESSAM) is a credited two-week MBA summer school for both full and part-time MBA students.

ESSAM provides MBA students with a unique and intense teaching opportunity consisting of lectures, workshops, a diverse range of guest speakers from leading organisations and companies, team-based consulting projects and company visits. You gain a competitive advantage in your MBA journey, become immersed in a new culture and grow your professional network.

Established over 30 years ago, ESSAM is organised by an international consortium of business schools, and therefore you benefit from an international teaching experience delivered by more than one university. ESSAM is hosted again this year by the triple-accredited Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, at our Glasgow and Dumfries campuses.

ESSAM enables MBA students to compress some of their Elective courses into 2 weeks. The University of Glasgow issues marks other universities can validate for their own students. ESSAM suggests 10 ECTS for the full programme.

What our students say

ESSAM 2023

Why choose ESSAM

Enrich your MBA experience by attending ESSAM

You will get the opportunity to:

  • Further enhance your international experience by learning from leading academics and guest speakers
  • Grow your global professional network by connecting with MBA students from international business schools with diverse career backgrounds and cultures
  • Develop your professional knowledge, leadership and experience in a team-based consultancy project with a local business
  • Benefit from compressing some of your Electives into 2 weeks
  • Study with the triple-accredited Adam Smith Business School – ranked in The Top 100 Which MBA, The Economist

ESSAM 2024

Students standing for a group photo on a grassy slow with views of the hills and the sea at Dumfries

How to apply

Registration is now open for ESSAM 2024

ESSAM 2024 is open to both full-time and part-time currently registered MBA students.

Application and Payment Processes

To apply for ESSAM in the first instance, please:

  1. provide a personal statement
  2. provide your CV
  3. email them to

Deadline: The deadline for applications is the 22nd April 2024.

Please note: A minimum of three years management experience is required for ESSAM.

Personal statement requirements

  • Maximum 500 words
  • Why you want to apply to the programme
  • What attracts you to the ESSAM 2024 theme - Extreme Events Challenge Development and Growth Opportunities: Regional, Industry and Business Level
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Maximum of two pages
  • Where you are studying for your MBA
  • Describe your work experience and responsibilities (3 years management experience is required)

Once you are offered a place on ESSAM and confirm your acceptance, we will ask you to complete our online booking form and payment. Please be aware that registration is only complete when the applicable fees have been paid online. 

Please note: MBA students at Consortium Universities or Friends of ESSAM Universities are eligible for reduced rate fees.

Students at Dumfries Campus walking past window with trees outside


Consortium Universities students: £3,600.00 (GBP)

Friends of ESSAM Universities students: £4,150.00 (GBP)

Standard ESSAM fee: £5,200.00 (GBP)

Your fee includes the two-week programme tuition, transfer from and to Glasgow Airport for international students at a pre-arranged time, transfer from Glasgow to Dumfries, accommodation for one person in Glasgow and ensuite hotel accommodation in Dumfries, meals, course materials, company visits, cultural and social activities and excursions. 

A return journey from Dumfries back to Glasgow Central Station will be organised at 9.00am on 6 July 2024.

Please contact the ESSAM team to check if you qualify for Consortium Universities or Friends of ESSAM Universities reduced rate fees. 

A student walking up stairs to enter a building with someone playing the bag pipes at the door


ESSAM will be led by Dr Javier Yanez-Arenas, the Director of the Glasgow MBA. The teaching process is an intensive mix of lectures, group work, presentations, discussions, and individual study. ESSAM has a central theme of Development and Growth at a Regional, Industry and Business level.

An exciting, challenging and engaging programme awaits our participants:

  • A Core based around the central theme and equipping participants to leverage their resources
  • Choose from 3 Electives based around entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Team-based consultancy projects working with local businesses - providing valuable real-world experience
  • A Scottish cultural and social programme

"Thank you for the best highlight of my MBA journey" - Chirag Bansal Loughborough University

Dr Javier Yanez-Arenas standing presenting to a group of students


Extreme Events Challenge Development and Growth Opportunities

Regional, Industry and Business Level

Core and Electives will be delivered by leading academics, predominantly from ESSAM consortium schools. They will address entrepreneurial issues around the central ESSAM theme of Development and Growth at a Regional, Industry and Business Level and equip participants to leverage their resources. The Electives together with Core sessions, provide a context and platform for both personal and business development.


Students will be required to complete one core topic:

Managing a startup culture to build highly engaged teams

Dr David Potter

David Potter profile photograph


Dr David Potter (PhD, MBA) specialises in organisational culture and change management. David is a qualified advanced behavioural change trainer and has a diploma in mentoring and coaching. David has co-authored with Professor James McCalman ‘Leading Cultural Change’ and was sole author of ‘Neuro Linguistic Programming for Change Leaders’ published by Routledge. David runs The Cultural Change Company He studied success factor modelling and stakeholder engagement methods relative to startups at an independent training school operating out of University of California Santa Cruz over two summer schools. David’s recent book co-authored with Jens Starke “Building a Culture of Conscious Leadership" was published by Routledge 2023. David is a highly experienced change leader with over 25 years of practice as a senior manager, leading change across complex organisations. David is a visiting 'practitioner-academic'' at several international business schools in the UK and in Europe.


Managing a startup culture to build highly engaged teams


An organisation is only as strong as its work culture. In fact, 84% of the value of an S&P 500 company comes from the talents, skills, knowledge, work ethic and health of its employees. But, as daily stress remains at a record high and a majority of the world’s workers are not engaged, companies must ask themselves: What can be done to foster a strong culture of connection and engagement?” Gallup Report (2023) What Workplace Culture Is and Why It Matters.


The above statement is equally valid for entrepreneurial startups. Cultural change management within business start-ups applied to establish high levels of team engagement to support the attraction and retention of talent may be considered as a core leadership competence.


One of the key challenges of the founding leadership of a business start-up is to develop a sense of a unique culture which connects their team with its vision, mission, ambition, and purpose.


Rather than leave the above to chance, this course introduces a range of practical frameworks, theories and literature related to the practice of designing and implementing a suitable cultural change management plan to support the strategic intentions of start-up organisation.


Whilst being theoretically informed the course provides a solid basis for students to develop practical management and analytical skills relative to the applied practice of cultural change management.


Students will choose 1 of the 3 electives:

The Intrapreneurial Mindset

Dr Andy Kelly


Dr Andy Kelly has worked with and in high growth businesses for over 30 years as an advisor on strategy and leadership. He built his own management consultancy which was acquired by a global learning organisation so has first-hand experience of building and selling a business. He has designed and delivered growth accelerator programmes for entrepreneurs and global businesses such as the Scottish Government, Novartis, Lifescan and GCHQ. He works closely with investment companies to support the development of corporate top teams to enable them to manage growth.


The Intrapreneurial Mindset

This course focuses on how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset whilst working within an organisation. It allows participants to understand how the entrepreneurial approach to risk taking and market testing can be adapted within the larger organisation to enable change and growth to happen. The sessions will focus on developing an intrapreneurial approach to strategy, enabling market development.


Impact Business Strategy: Navigating profits and purpose successfully, to outgrow the competition and transform our world

Dr Melanie Van de Velde

Dr Melanie Van de Velde profile photo against a red background


Melanie van de Velde, PhD, MBA, MSc, Author, Founder of Big Tree Global. In this course Dr van de Velde reveals the key secrets as to how business leaders can create the best outcomes in truly fixing our key global issues. And boost business growth, productivity, brand value and resilience authentically at the same time. Dr van de Velde’s thought-leading tools and insights are based on her 20 years of experience and her research awarded the Adam Smith Prize for PhD Excellence, nominated by the Research Director at the Social Innovation Centre at Cambridge University. Whilst simple to apply, her framework underpins the globe’s most successful impact strategies. Dr van de Velde has run an impact business for young women without an education in a Nairobi slum. She managed Asia Pacific markets at a multi-billion dollar tech company. And she’s worked in senior management at IT start-ups. Aside from a PhD Melanie holds an MBA with Distinction and an MSc in Industrial Engineering. With Big Tree Global she supports business leaders to build more powerful impact practices into their strategy. Dr van de Velde is author of LEAD LIKE A GENIUS: How to outgrow the competition & transform our world.


Impact Business Strategy: Navigating profits and purpose successfully, to outgrow the competition and transform our world

The course provides students with key insights as to how to create impact effectively on our key global issues such as climate change, pollution, poverty, inequality, and social exclusion. We will look at examples from around the world that pioneer innovative ways to create value for people and planet more versus less successfully. By critically examining impact strategies that have better vs worse outcomes students will learn about key success factors that underpin better outcomes. Better outcomes in terms of social and environmental impact as well as commercial outcomes. The course includes a mix of lectures, film material, exemplary case studies, expert video interviews and involves active participation by students during exercises and discussion. The students will visit companies as part of a case study comparison and apply a cutting-edge framework to compare their impact strategies and how they achieve more versus less successful outcomes.

Creative Bravery: Applied design-led innovation

Ruth Cochrane 

Ruth Cochrane profile photo


Ruth is a designer, lead academic for Glasgow School of Art’s School of Innovation & Technology and Head of the GSA Future Skills programme. Ruth has worked in Higher Education across Scotland and internationally following a successful career working as a commercial product designer in the audio industry, demonstrating creative business leadership as the global creative manager at Tannoy Ltd and Head of Product Design at Linn Products Ltd. As an entrepreneur using Design Thinking principles she founded and directed LoveScotland Ltd building it into a successful events and tourism business, leading to her consulting on Scottish Government tourism and equalities legislation. Ruth is a Director of Daydream Believers Ltd, an internationally recognised non-profit, working to transform education through creativity. 


Creative Bravery: Applied design-led innovation

Together we will explore entrepreneurial opportunities within the framework of people, planet and profit. The course will focus on creative thinking for complex challenges and students will learn about regenerative design processes by engaging in project-based learning in the local context. We will use creative strategies for research, idea generation, prototyping and storytelling while developing critical thinking skills. This elective will be fun, active and creative throughout!